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Evaluating Dallas' Front 7 and 8 7th Round Prospects to Draft

OGG available at my website

**** (In the video I said Matt Patchan would play Right Tackle for me, I meant to say I’d have him play Right Guard; as a tackle he’d be over coming a lot)

We’re about a month away from the draft. Dallas is unlikely to make many more signings before then. I’m not even sure who all is on the roster, so I decided to estimate my own depth chart. There’s a few players listed #2 who might end up starting somewhere else along the line. Let me highlight Ben Bass who was coming on strong at Strongside Defensive End, and Ceaser Rayford who looked good as a Outside Linebacker for the Colts but hasn’t been able to put it together in Dallas. Among linebackers Davonte Holloman is listed as a #2 but he may start somewhere even before training camp.

Who do we even have in the front 7?

I worked out my own estimate of the current depth chart for the front 7 players; pre Draft, post Free Agency -
WEAK SIDE DEFENSIVE END
99 Selvie, George DE 6-4 270 27 4 South Florida
92 Mincey, Jeremy DE 6-4 265 30 7 Florida
90 Okpalaugo, Tristan DE 6-4 260 24 1 Fresno State

THE THREE TECH
69 Melton, Henry DE 6-3 295 27 6 Texas
79 Bass, Ben DT 6-5 294 24 2 Texas A&M

THE ONE TECH
66 McClain, Terrell DT 6-2 293 25 4 South Florida
96 Hayden, Nick DT 6-4 301 28 3 Wisconsin
70 Kearse, Frank DT 6-5 310 25 3 Alabama A&M

STRONG SIDE DE
98 Crawford, Tyrone DE 6-4 284 24 2 Boise State
95 Rayford, Caesar DE 6-7 267 28 R Washington

MIDDLE LINEBACKER
50 Lee, Sean LB 6-2 234 27 4 Penn State
57 Holloman, DeVonte LB 6-2 242 23 R South Carolina
98 Lemon, Orie LB 6-1 242 26 2 Oklahoma State

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER
54 Carter, Bruce LB 6-2 246 26 3 North Carolina
56 Wilson, Martez LB 6-4 252 25 3 Illinois

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKR
51 Wilber, Kyle LB 6-4 246 24 2 Wake Forest
52 Durant, Justin LB 6-1 228 28 7 Hampton
53 Lawrence, Cameron OLB 6-2 234 23 R Mississippi State
Unknown
45 Spears, Quinton LB 6-4 230 25 2 Prairie View A&M
48 Stewart, Jonathan LB 6-3 254 23 R Texas A&M
58 Williams, Jabara LB 6-2 238 24 2 Stephen F. Austin St.

So here is a question:
Are they going to get anyone who weighs 330lbs? Dallas has avoided 330 pounders even going back to when they ran the 34. I like to have one on the roster even if he’s only the 2nd string one.

Despite that lack of size at DT, with Dallas losing Demarcus Ware (who traditionally weighed 255lbs, but bulked up to 262lbs last year) and ostensibly Selvie takes his spot. Selvie carries 15lbs more than Ware pretty naturally, weighing 270lbs VS Ware’s 255lbs for most of his career.
DE Anthony Spencer was listed last year at 250lbs though I believe he also was closer to 263lbs. Either way, I am currently projecting either Tyronne Crawford or Ben Bass to take his spot. Crawford weighs 284 lbs and Bass weighs 295lbs.

Keeping with the size theme — Sean Lee and Justin Durrant are among the smallest linebackers on the roster. Hard to believe Davonte Holloman came into the league at 242 lbs listed as a safety. That’s a big safety.

No matter how you cut it, Dallas is getting bigger at defensive end, linebacker, but not Defensive Tackle.

Last thought. I think Henry Melton projects as a more complete 3 tech than Jason Hatcher. Where I like Melton better is on 1st and 2nd down. Melton will keep our LBs cleaner over the course of the season (EDITORS NOTE Dallas was last in 2013 on 1st down defense and 1st down run defense – like 5 yards a carry bad).

Since we have 6 7th round draft picks, I put together a mini board of possible late round picks. Here I have ranked 8 players to get in the 7th round of the NFL draft.

#1 7th Rounder
FB J.C. COPELAND
LSU
JC Copeland is a long armed Full Back with a quick gait and power in his blocks. I’m often wrong on who Dallas drafts at FB but I’m really pulling for this guy. He’s a load and his Arm Length will give him some terrific match up advantages. He’d be able to contribute right away in a designated role so I have #1 in the 7th round.

#2 7th Rounder
G SPENCER LONG
NEBRASKA
He was seen as a top-100 player, but is recovering from an ACL tear. He’s recovered this year, but apparently his draft stock has not. I think he’d be ready to start by year 2, like Ron Leary did. Spencer Long could compete to start right away, like Leary did. Leary ultimately was practice squaded, but Long may prove more capable in his first year. I think Long will definitely compete to start in year 2 and could compete in year 1, so I have as the #2 7th rounder.

#3 7th Rounder
WR MATT HAZEL
COASTAL CAROLINA
Matt Hazel is a small school WR with NFL type measurables to go with top production at small school. I see him as a good prospective Y player, the guy opposite Dez. He’ll run routes all over the field vacated by Dez. If it all worked out for him, he could be a starter in two years, and help as a slot receiver immediately. I believe Terrance Williams is a dynamite #3 WR and that in a season or two Matt Hazel could become the regular outside WR and Williams would be the slot. Williams is a match up push on the outside, but a match up buster on the inside.

#4 7th rounder
CB MARQUESTON HUFF
WYOMING
S/CB He’ll stick in the NFL as a CB, his experience at S helps the roster’s flexibility. He should be able to help on STs right away and has the athletic skills to challenge as a starter in the NFL. Has some physicality and demonstrated it while playing safety. He has the slew of skills to challenge starters all across the defensive backfield, though realistically it’s his special teams assets that will have him stick in years one and probably 2. He’s not a safety and he’s not going to supplant our top 3 CBs, so he’s lower priority, as the #4 7th rounder

#5 7th rounder
RB LORENZO TALIAFERRO
COASTAL CAROLINA
4.58 40 and 230lbs, highly productive back in a small school enviroment. I’m really looking for a 230lbs back in this draft, to go with Dunbar and Murray. Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Hill are the most celebrated 230lbs RBs in this draft but Lorenzo is a good option in the 7th. Lorenzo isn’t the goal line back or even the short yardage back per say. I don’t believe size really makes a difference. Priest Holmes was an amazing short yardage back and was rather small. What I like about Lorenzo is he presents a completely different back for a defense to prepare for, VS Murray and Dunbar. The more options that a defense will have to adjust for, the better. Where Dunbar has awesome speed, Lorenzo has great size. Murray is in between, with assets of both. What ever 230lbs running back Dallas gets, I hope they remember the days of Marion Barber closing out 4th quarters. I think Jason Garrett was even there in 2007 for many of those games.

#6 7th rounder
OLB TYLER STARR
SOUTH DAKOTA
4.2 SS, 6.6 3 cone drill suggests he can play all the LB spots, despite his bad 40 (4.9). 6’4 250lbs he’s got size. Some scout sites say he needs an NFL training regimen to catch up in core strength, but he lifts well. If he can block well enough to warrant a role on STs, I think he could develop into an ace Strong Side LB, covering the TE and beating the TE’s blocks. His slow 40 doesn’t lend itself to punt coverage, despite that he appears like he would be very good in Zone coverage because of his change of direction skills, and his ten yard split is pretty good at 1.68. At 6’4, Dallas may grow him in to a Defensive End in time, but I believe right now he’s a good back up Strong Side LB who can start in the next couple of years. He’d need to stick on STs the first year or more. To me, he looks like a DE who needs 20 lbs. But he’s entering the NFL as a strong side backer and he has the assets to succede.

#7 7th rounder
DE ETHAN WESTBROOKS
WEST TEXAS A&M
A raw prospect with a questioned mentality. I think Rod Marenelli keeps it simple and keeps his players motivated. Some proffer that he has intriuing pass rush potential but I don’t really see it. He probably didn’t get ideal combine coaching so perhaps I should cut him slack, but his power numbers were plain as was his Short Shuttle, so nothing would really suggest he could ever do anything special as an outside edge rusher. He would not be dynamic as a starter, I anticipate. Ideally he’d spell your started on run downs, and there is a role for those guys. (I think he could deliver 200 snaps at SDE and be moderately productive, even in 2014).

#8 7th rounder
OT MATT PATCHAN
BOSTON COLLEGE
Long legged tackle with shorter arms, he’s best at Guard. He has a lot strength and could develop like Kevin Grogan (if it all works out). I think he’s a year behind Spencer Long. He’s also shifting positions from Tackle to Guard. He could probably give up sacks as the 3rd tackle just as easily as most 3rd tackles in the NFL. Some people think he actually could play takcle in the NFL but he’d need to elavate his technique to Joe Thomas levels. He was injured his junior year and its possible that set his technique back. He has good speed and would work well in our zone scheme, with guards lead blocking, guards pulling, and drive blocking from the Right Guard position.

**** (In the video I said Matt Patchan would play Right Tackle for me, I definitely mean I’d have him play Right Guard)

Cross posted to my blog and I have a Soundcloud group of files here

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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